"Kerilie McDowall fronts a first-rate jazz quintet...Labels listen up...a very talented musician." “Smooth, elegant playing... wrapped in warm relaxing tones.” “Most impressive are her composing skills.”—Guitar Player Magazine

“Kerilie McDowall emerged in the 1990s as the leading female voice in jazz guitar in Canada. Lyrically original in both the melodic sense and harmonic concept. And she SWINGS!"  
— Al Johnston, Bassist/composer/arranger

"Kerilie is a rare combination of ardent supporter, facilitator, and artist. Whether it’s journalism, broadcasting, filmmaking, educating, or her own music making, Kerilie’s contribution to the creative music ecosystem is immense!" —JUNO Award winner Stephen Lyons, Fond of Tigers

"Kerilie is an excellent guitar teacher and person. She was extremely patient and kind with my son. He really enjoyed his lessons and looked forward to them. If we hadn't moved out of the area he would still be going. I highly recommend her." 
— Jam Drones, (Jaret Jones) Facebook review

Images by Dirk Heydemann of HA Photography www.haphotography.com. Videography by Raymond Knight of Knight Studios. https://www.knightstudios.ca/


Mountain digital art by Ilonka from Pixabay.

Mountain digital art by Ilonka from Pixabay.

Learn more about Kerilie McDowall at BIO and ABOUT.


Jazz guitarist, current DownBeat Critics Poll judge, The Discourse Nanaimo, The Hub newsletter, Arts and Entertainment, Former DownBeat writer. Polaris Music Prize juror, Past JUNO Awards judging and talent judge for the Canadian Musicians Coop, 12x award-winning jazz short documentary maker and TV Movie Director of In the Zone: Rick Kilburn (2020-22). Black Women In the Arts Stiletto Award (radio), Past freelance writing contributing monthly for DownBeat. Writing for publications such as  All About Jazz, Canadian Musician, Inspired, Canadian Antique Phonograph Society, Nanaimo Magazine, etc. Guitar instructor/owner of Canadian Online Guitar Lessons. Jazz/pop guitarist and jazz bandleader in Vancouver, music and arts events publicist/media contact, workshops for musicians, recording artists, writers and filmmakers and the general public. #1 globally on google Player FM,  jazz radio podcaster (7 years). Past jazz radio host/producer, volunteer (17 years), TV Hosting/co-hosting, producer, volunteer, Shaw Spotlight (7 years 2015-22) TV Director, Shaw Spotlight volunteer (5 years 2015-20).


(The Real Story)

Kerilie McDowall has been in love with music since starting to practice the toy piano at age 5. She studied the violin starting at age 7 at the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music and switched over to the acoustic guitar at age 13. She taught herself the piano using organ books at age 9 when her father purchased her first piano that she had begged him for. She was a semi-finalist out of hundreds of children Toronto-wide in public speaking at age 9. After this, she was tested extensively for two days in IQ tests and placed into Saturday gifted enrichment fine arts classes (creative writing and music recorder) with three other Toronto children chosen City of Toronto-wide.

She quickly took to the guitar at age 13, playing in her first blues and all-girls band with neighborhood and school friends at age 16. After age 16, she started performing at Toronto music jams with notable blues Toronto guitarist Buzz Upshaw, while being fascinated with Toronto's Liona Boyd as she learned the Classical guitar from Eli Kassner. She also admired role models such as guitarists Nancy Wilson, and Joni Mitchell.

Kerilie was exposed to jazz very young through her father, but did not learn to play the jazz guitar until quite late. Prior to this she was playing folk, pop, blues, hard and soft rock and classical and reggae guitar as a rhythm guitarist and improvisatory soloist. She performed in her first professional bands in high school. She had always played violin in orchestra and privately while at school, music was constant. She has performed music since the age of 6. The first performances were on the ukulele. Her area of university music study was New Music Composition and Classical and Jazz Guitar Performance.

After graduating from music at York University, Ontario, she began working as a jazz bandleader, guitar and music instructor, and as a jazz guitarist and sideplayer in Vancouver, BC. In Vancouver she performed and recorded on Hot Air at CBC Radio and COOP Radio, UTV, performed at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival yearly, performed at The Glass Slipper, Jazz Vespers, the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, regularly at O'Douls, and other Gastown and The  Drive venues, private parties, and as a sideplayer with various Vancouver jazz and pop artists and vocalists.

As a current guitar instructor, McDowall has 18 years of guitar instruction experience and 34 years of music industry expertise and currently instructs privately by video lessons and live in-studio at her  mountain/ocean/forest view location and by Zoom at her business Canadian Online Guitar Lessons while offering other music and creative services and workshops.

Inquire about sliding scale rates and private workshops for kids and adults (various age group sessions)  Intro to Filming for TV and Youtube Workshop. Bring a friend and receive a 10% discount! Discounted rates for the disabled and seniors.


In the STORE canonlineguitarlessons.com

Guitar lessons and music services. Website writing and writing services, personalized writing workshops for new and established writers, festing help for newbie filmmakers, publicity/writing services, self-publicity, and media contact/liaison for recording artists/organizations/corporations/arts groups/creatives.

Store of services and merch. Writing and services products,  film viewing of 12x award-winning documentary made-for-TV/Web short by Director/Producer Kerilie McDowall, entitled "In the Zone: Rick Kilburn" may be coming soon OR  Kerilie may decide to sell the film instead and is currently receptive to all film distribution offers. Read additional information about Kerilie McDowall at ABOUT and on her BIO page. Full website to be published eventually, coming soon, in progress!

Browse our SERVICES workshop pages for your choice in music and writing, media and publicity services.

FAST LINKS to Services:

Canadian Online Guitar Lessons
Workshops, Coaching for Recording Artists
Publicity Coaching, Media Contact and Services
Intro to Filming for TV and Youtube Workshop
Ready for the Press Workshop
In the Zone: Rick Kilburn, watch the trailer
In the Zen blog
Vision Board Workshops


Guitar Lessons and Workshop Bootcamp Registration for Recording Artists and other workshop services are underway now at Canadian Online Guitar Lessons, live in Nanaimo, by video and can offer lessons in different online formats like Skype, Messenger, FaceTime or by preference by ZOOM in Nanaimo, BC.

Jazz guitarist and short filmmaker, former DownBeat writer and current Polaris Music Prize juror Kerilie McDowall's Canadian Online Guitar Lessons went online in 2020 and was established initially in 2018 as Oceanview Guitar Studio. Kerilie's 34 years in the music industry covers diverse areas ranging from music performance and recording, to radio and television work and writing and publicity. She has extensive and intensive experience working with persons of all abilities who are living with a disability. (13 years)

Kerilie offers video lessons and in person appointments (and by Zoom) in guitar, music, songwriting, composing and theory lessons, music publicity services, media liaison contact with writing services for musicians, arts groups and corporate groups. Workshops and coaching are now available for musicians, writers, tv/radio artists, new filmmakers and new or established indie performers. Kerilie assists you to develop your own unique artistic voice. Shape, develop and compose ideas and explore the music that you love.


A supportive, patient approach that encourages students to learn at their own pace. Ages 8 and up online, ages 6 and up in-person. Pop, country, blues, classical, jazz, folk, rock, includes guitar soloing, rhythm guitar, TAB, music reading and improvisation. Creativity is encouraged. From pop, rock, country, folk, classical and jazz, more, Kerilie can help you get underway with your favourite style(s) of music on your favourite type of guitar from electric to acoustic. Learn, discover and explore your choice(s) of fun ear and written playing, start off with chords, guitar TAB, if desired learn reading charts, music notation reading, soloing, chord voicing, songwriting, composition, orchestration and let's start working on performance training. The basic fundementals of vocal training are included for aspiring performers and guitarists who desire it.  Image of Megan Fleming (left) and Kerilie McDowall (right) by Dirk Heydemann of HA Photography.


Kerilie first started her publicity, writing and concert booking business in 2015 working with recording artists such as Dan Brubeck, Mike Allen, and Benoit Delbecq and Francois Houle. She currently works on contract and has assisted organizations like the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music, Nanaimo Musicians Association, Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society, Bethlehem Centre and Crimson Dance Society, and more.


Kerilie has 17 years of volunteer performance and production work in the radio industry and 7 years in television. She created 380 podcasts during a 6-7 year period, then wrote for DownBeat jazz magazine (2016-20). She is an active music judge and a working writer and offers writing, media and publicity services. Recently Kerilie designed workshops to instruct and coach emerging and established recording artists, writers, and filmmakers, in self-publicity, international radio and the media, including TV, radio, podcasting introduction, press, radio and on-camera interviews, magazines/blogging, and TV.

McDowall offers workshops in radio and TV instruction, YouTube directing and hosting: camera shots/framing, lighting, interview techniques, production and video teamwork, as well as writing workshops on interview features, content creation and professional writing techniques including issues like writer's block.

Discover creative exercises to assist you to clear your writing blocks to allow for the free flowing of creative ideas and article planning.

McDowall also offers songwriting and composition workshops and can tailor your unique study plans to your needs.


Kerilie McDowall’s first short jazz documentary features the story of the life and career of multi-award-winning jazz bassist and producer Rick Kilburn. The short won at the Japan International Film Festival, winning a 12th award (Best Short Documentary) in October 2022. In 2021, her short documentary In the Zone: Rick Kilburn, won 11 awards including from China's Hong Kong International Short Film Festival (Best Short Documentary), and from Seoul International Short Film Festival, Korea (Best Director), Hollywood (Best Web and New Media (3): Independent Shorts Awards, Indie X Film Fest, Indie Short Fest), Vegas Movie Awards (Best Inspirational Film and Best Short Documentary Prestige Awards) (2), Milan International Film Festival (Best Editing), and Toronto Independent Film Festival of CIFT (Best Canadian Documentary), Best Documentary from the London International Monthly Film Festival, and a special honorary mention from Japan from the Tokyo International Monthly Film Festival.  The awards were for her short film that she produced as a volunteer with the Shaw Spotlight Nanaimo team. Kerilie was happy to use her writer-publicity skills and was thrilled to observe her film star Rick Kilburn reach 11.4 million IMDB Pro hits in 2021.)



“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”


Join Canadian Online Guitar Lessons to make Feng Shui-inspired mandala vision boards for celebrating different occasions from World Cleanup Day to New Year's Resolution Making, or for Just Because: A New Start!   

Dream up a wonderful reality of your personal goal-setting and vision in one-on-one or in group ZOOM! For everyone! 

Themes for Vision Board #1 World Cleanup Day September 17th: Earth harmony, earth-caretaking, and global unity/peace. Enhancement ideas: Cleanup in your neighborhood, plant a new garden or several trees! 

Theme for Vision Board #2 Just Because: A New Start: In a challenging world, realize your dreams, ideas, and goal-setting through setting intentions with your Vision Board to assist to manifest wonderfully powerful transformative life experiences.

Theme for New Year's Goal-setting: Rejuvenate your lifestyle with a fresh start with personal goal resolutions, inspiration, and setting intention for all of your dreams!


"Kerilie is one of those rare people who really understands music and art while also understanding how to share it in a way that is efficient and beneficial to both the artist and the artform. With her contagious passion and energy, she reminded me of the importance and meaning of this fascinating career path and the importance and value of hard work. Kerilie is deeply passionate about art and people, she is generous, inspiring and supportive and is a great source of knowledge, which are all qualities that contribute to her being an outstanding teacher."—Gentiane Michaud-Gagnon, pianist/composer (a.k.a. Gentiane MG) www.gentianemg.com/

“Kerilie McDowall is The Real Deal!” 
— Rick Kilburn, producer/bassist www.rickkilburn.net 

"Kerilie's vast scope of relevant and versatile expertise within the music and media industry combined with her genuine love for the arts and artists makes her incredibly approachable, fun and inspiring to work with. She is so genuine, easy to talk to, and generous with her knowledge. As artists in an ever-evolving industry, defining a clear trajectory can be challenging at the best of times but with Kerilie's mentorship, I have been able to gain a substantial amount of clarity and direction in just a very short time. Working with Kerilie has made me excited about my next steps as I pursue a career in the arts. This has been a deeply empowering experience as an emerging artist and one that I highly recommend to any aspiring musician looking to take their career to the next level." 
— Emily Best (musician/songwriter), Workshop participant www.emilybest.com

"First rate jazz quintet...labels listen up...a very talented musician."
Guitar Player

"Kerilie is an excellent guitar teacher and person. She was extremely patient and kind with my son. He really enjoyed his lessons and looked forward to them. If we hadn't moved out of the area he would still be going. I highly recommend her."— Jam Drones, Facebook

"I worked with Kerilie for more than 4 years and she has shown an aptitude and ambition for radio hosting above and beyond her peers. Kerilie has everything you would want in a jazz radio host including but not limited to an extensive knowledge of the genre, a great approach to interviews and a beautiful voice to listen to. Her curiosity about the genre with her drive for excellence is what makes her such an exceptional radio host. Without reservation, I recommend her highly as a host for a jazz show."—Dylan Perry CHLY 101. 7FM Station Manager

“If you’re a music lover then the short film documentary In the Zone: Rick Kilburn, Vancouver Island Bassist and Producer is a must-watch.”Film Daily

"You will fall in love with the personality behind the great Rick Kilburn in this intimate and fascinating documentary short."FILMHAUS Berlin

This last year I had opportunity to use the publicity piece you had composed for me and was able to secure a 7 month long gig at a local hotel as a performer on a monthly basis. I was also able to use it as promotion and publicity for numerous other single performance opportunities.  The combination photo with accompanying brief bio and affirming presentation was perfect, and just what was required to open doors. Thank you for your conscientious professionalism. 
Sarah M. Wood https://thinkitstime.com/home

FIlmmaker/Director/Guitarist Kerilie McDowall right Image by Dirk Heydemann of HA Photography. https://www.haphotography.com


Quick Links

Find the rates of many services offered listed under “Canadian Online Guitar Lessons,” or "Services page" or in the store.




A new blog

Coming soon: A jazz blog for and about musicians and the other creative topics of writing, art and film. (Scroll to "Read more" to see Kerilie's new blog below.)

Happiest New Year! Up to 60% off and a free gift! 

Thanks for stopping by my new blog. Happy New Year’s! Enjoy up to 60% off until January 31, 2023.  It is time to make a vision board soon again for 2023! I am glad you are joining me for a casually relaxed read. 

"In the Zen," to explain, was a great blog name idea by the one and only, yes the star of my short film Rick Kilburn! It ties in with the theme and inter-generational aspects of the short documentary jazz film and also the short doc's title, "In the Zone: Rick Kilburn." I loved Rick's idea and am…

Read more

In the Zen New Year's Eve Welcoming, First Post, 2022! 

Thank you for checking out and suscribing to the first post of my new blog, In the Zen. Welcome!

This blog, if you were mistaken, is not about Buddhism. (Rather, this blog will be inclusive of all world religions including Buddhism.) It is true I was also the writer and publicist for a multi-all-faith spiritual global retreat centre for five years until COVID-19 hit the globe, so I may share some of the fascinating wisdom I have learned from other cultures and traditions on occasion as part of my writing…

Read more

Newsletter: Film Premiere Screening Invite and Another Hollywood Win! Best Web and New Media: IndieX Film Fest!  


July 3, 2021


Oh my gosh,

Hi Everyone on the newsletter e-list! If you are on this e-list I appreciate you! I had just completed a very intense work period, very intense... and I woke up to find out that our team and I have won another Hollywood award! More on that soon. But I have our global premiere screening invite for you. I am happy to tell you that you can now purchase a $5 US Dollar ticket to watch my short film screen in its premiere at the Seoul International Short Film Festival in Seoul, South…

Read more

Kerilie fully understands her creative role in radio. She has consistently illustrated her dedication and commitment in this capacity over time. Many have benefited greatly from her inviting radio show in the United States and internationally... As Founder of Stiletto Awards, I commend you for your commitment and capability to successfully embrace the many colors of the music genre while maintaining your place in the media landscape using your God-given gifts.”

—Chairperson, Cynthia Brown Wilson, Founder of the Stiletto Awards (Black Women In Jazz & The Arts Awards, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.)

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